Father's Day dilemma

June 10, 2009

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Thawaraja and Santhimithevi, tsunami survivors who started a family garden with help from Mercy Corps. Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

As Father’s Day approaches, I'm faced with the same dilemma as always: what should I give someone who has enough t-shirts, gadgets and tools to last a lifetime?

My dad, as any hard-working and loving father, knows what it means to support his family. And, given the opportunity, I’m sure he'd want to help other parents around the world get the tools they need in order to provide for their families, the way he has provided for his. I can't think of a better gift to give him than a Mercy Corps Tool Kit.

I'm also going to email him a story on two parents who are Mercy Corps beneficiaries in Sri Lanka. Thawaraja and Santhimithevi survived the 2004 tsunami by clinging to the tops of palm trees. Luckily, their two children were safe at school, but they lost many other family members.

In the aftermath of the tsunami, they became first-time gardeners with the help of Mercy Corps. In addition to providing fence posts, seeds and fertilizer, Mercy Corps held classes on gardening techniques. The couple have been able to feed their children with the vegetables they've grown, and have even found a new source of income by selling the beans, okra and bitter gourd from their family garden.

So this year I’ll honor my dad with a meaningful gift that not only reflects his achievements as a father, but honors them by giving back to hard-working parents around the world. Here’s to Mercy Kits!